Internet Shares Rebound On Economic News

A better-than-expected consumer price index report was lifting stocks higher across the board Wednesday, leaving Internet shares big beneficiaries.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was up 39.31, or 9.23 percent, to 472.15, the Nasdaq Composite had surged 86.55 to 2,501.22 and the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 169.39 to 10,764.38.

Markets were being helped by a report that consumer prices were unchanged in May. That sent bond prices higher and interest rates lower. Internet issues were also benefitting from a report from Lehman Brothers Internet analyst Brian Oakes who said most of the sector’s issues may have hit bottom. He attributed the decline to interest rate fears and not the fundamentals of Internet leaders.

Oakes said once the rush of Internet IPOs subsides, there will be several good buying opportunities.

All but one of the issues in the ISDEX were in positive territory Wednesday. Among those leading the way were Inc. (AMZN), up 11-1/2 to 108. The company sealed a venture with auction house Sotheby’s Holdings to sell art and collectibles online. Amazon will invest $45 million in Sotheby’s and purchase $35 million in Sotheby stock.

Amazon’s chief competitor in the auction space, eBay Inc. (EBAY)was up 11-7/8 to 147-3/8. eBay shares have been on a wild ride over the past few days as the company dealt with a series of outages. eBay began the week about 20 points higher.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) climbed 17-1/4 to 142-1/2. Thomas Weisel Partners initiated coverage of the stock late Tuesday with a “buy” rating.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was up 11-3/4 to 106-1/2. On Monday, shares slumped to about 50 percent off their all-time highs.

Online brokers were also higher across the board. Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) was up 7-5/16 to 72-1/16, E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) was up 3-3/8 to 35-3/8, National Discount Brokers Group Inc. (NDB) had gained 3-7/16 to 38-7/16 and DLJdirect (DIR) was up 3-3/8 to 27-11/16.

Inktomi Corp. (INKT) had soared 16-5/16 to 106-13/16. On Tuesday, the company rolled out the Inktomi Directory Engine which allows portals to strengthen their search capability.

Marimba Inc. (MRBA) jumped 3-9/16 to 39-1/2. On Tuesday, agency broker Instinet agreed to use Marimba’s Castanet to deploy electronic brokerage services to its fixed-income clients.

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